Dear reader, I must confess: shortly after my last post, I fell through the breach into Dragon Age: Inquisition and have only recently started to find my way out.
My partner recently acquired a PS4 for our humble abode and immediately purchased a copy of DA:I, because it’s basically the shit. I haven’t played video games in years. As a kid, I played a lot of Rayman and Q-Bert on my Playstation and as a teenager, I spent several really intense hours playing Rock Band with my friends, trying to get as much money as we could to buy really cute outfits.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is a lot more involved than any of that, and I’m having a blast.
I just recently “finished” (read: pushed my way through the main story and left a bunch of side quests undone) my first playthrough as a lady Dalish dual-wield rogue named Clarke. I went into the final mission assuming I would fail miserably, since I’d done that on every other major mission in the game, but then I managed to beat the final boss and come out the other side a victor. Now I keep eyeing the save game I have from before I went on that mission, debating if I want to go back and keep going as my girl.
In the meantime, I’ve started another playthrough as a male Dalish mage named Nico.
I won’t lie: a lot of my focus is still on finding and/or crafting the cutest and most protective armor I can, for my whole party. I’m really into mage cowls, in particular. And hunter coats on rogues! So good.
I also got really, really involved in the romance subplots of the game, which — if you know me, isn’t that surprising, honestly. I’ve been invested in shipping culture since I first watched “Buffy: The Vampire Slayer” as a preteen.
As Clarke, I basically flirted with everyone until I finally settled on romancing Blackwall, mostly because he seemed really thirsty. That may seem like a crap reason to romance a character, but that’s fine with me. Then we slept together and he left me, naked and alone, and I found out he’d been lying about his identity the whole time… So, I dumped him and moved onto Cullen Rutherford, because when we played chess and I tried to flirt, he got really, really flustered. It was adorable.
And then I rapidly fell in love with Cullen, because I have no chill.
Dragon Age: Inquisition is honestly a pretty complex roleplaying game that features enjoyable combat and a good story. It’s well-deserving of the awards it’s earned, though I’m really biased because, like I said, it’s the first video game I’ve played in literally a decade.
But I thoroughly enjoyed my first playthrough (enough that I’m mad I went into that final quest so soon! But how was I supposed to know I wouldn’t crash and burn? Trying to side with the Templars caused me to die so many times that I eventually gave up and went with the mages instead!). I want to keep playing as Clarke, and I want to continue my game as Nico. I want to explore other characters, like a Qunari warrior.
I want to do ALL THE THINGS.
But I also… want to kiss Cullen Rutherford. A lot. Kissing cut scenes are A+ in this game and there need to be significantly more of them. I love that romancing characters opens up new dialogue options with others, that characters in-game comment on your relationship and tease you about it. (Well, mostly they tease Cullen, but that’s honestly better.) I love that romancing characters is even a thing, because it seems so… frivolous? But if real people can fall in love in the middle of a war, why can’t video game characters? Good job, game creators.
And before anyone jumps down my throat for “only caring about the kissing”: 1) I’ve thus far loved every aspect of this game and 2) shove it. Furthermore, I acknowledge that DA:I is especially awesome for offering so many varied love interests, and for having a pretty solid selection of LGBT characters and romance options, but I like my Cullen romance. Again, shove it.
Plus, I literally created Nico so that I could romance Dorian. And my Qunari woman is going to romance Sera.
See? I’m totally diversifying.
Since my partner is also playing the game, we’ve had a lot of really cool discussions about it and the history of the world and what we want to accomplish within it. Reed is playing a lady Dalish archer rogue in one game and a male Qunari dual-wield rogue in another. We have the same romance choices (minus Blackwall, because Reed is often Smarter Than Me), because we have good taste, but otherwise we’ve made a lot of different timeline choices and we’ve been able to offer advice and support. It’s been a cool experience, if a little surreal.
They’ve also been actively listening to Dragon Age Off the Record, which I’m going to start this week. I’m looking forward to it, based on how much Reed has gushed.
I can honestly say I’ve never thought about being a gamer, but this little taste has made me want to dive into it, head first.
* Reed would like me to add that you should talk to them about Cullen Rutherford on Twitter, if you fancy.